Monday, February 18, 2013

Steel Rose by Barbara Custer - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Barbara Custer on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the Sci-Fi Horror novel, "Steel Rose".

Barbara will award one randomly drawn commenter at every stop a backlist eBook – it could be City of Brotherly Death, Twilight Healer, or one of her Night to Dawn magazines, and one randomly drawn commenter on the tour will receive a $15.00 gift certificate to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, winner's choice, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a really cool prize!

Barbara was brave enough to share five things about herself we might not know. Let's get the ball rolling ...

Five Things You’d Never Guess about Barbara

People who’ve read about me know about my balloon hobby, fear of skeletons, and love for horror and science fiction genres. Tonight, I’ve decided to share five things that might surprise you.

1. Let’s start with identity – before I married, my last name was Citeroni. I am 100 percent Italian descent, but most people find that hard to believe because of my fair skin. I don’t know any Italian but I can cook and bake some great recipes. I’ve learned them from the best cook—my mother.

2. Before I had the joint reconstruction surgery in my hands, I used to enjoy deep-sea fishing with Mike and my brother. I’d gotten pretty good at baiting my own hook and catching flounder and sea bass. Alas, I did have my bouts with seasickness. All up, I had a great time on the boat.

3.  A confession: When it comes to coffee, I have expensive taste. I buy all my coffee from the Ocean City Coffee Company. Why Ocean City? On our last pleasure trip, Mike and I visited Ocean City, NJ, and we bought coffee at their store. They really know how to package flavored coffee. I’ve tried cheaper brands, but didn’t like the taste. When I go to a restaurant, sometimes I make coffee at home and bring a thermos of it with me.

4. When I was in high school, I thrived on Mad magazine. I continued reading Mad through my twenties, and people around me scolded me for not taking an interest in literary subjects. A fellow I dated tried to get me interested into what he called “good” literature. This didn’t happen, and my “unsophisticated” tastes were part of the reason we broke up. Well…if these people could see me now.

5. A lot of writers have superstitions about their work, and I’m no different. If I start a new project, I won’t discuss it with anyone, lest talking about it too much depletes my motivation to write. For example, I’ve been working on a prequel for Steel Rose, but I don’t feel ready to talk about it yet. If I get a “maybe” letter from a publisher, etc, as in a request to send the manuscript, I’ll keep it under wraps until I know the outcome. Revealing too much too soon might jinx it. My best writing happens when I’ve put laundry into the dryer. Maybe the noise from the dryer soothes my muse. Whatever the reason, it works.

Sometimes they come back. At least the Kryszka aliens do. Their leader injects captured humans with a drug, turning them into zombies. Yeron escapes the Kryszka colony, hoping to practice medicine on the humans that fear him. Alexis, a patient, is afraid, too, until his seductive attentions arouse her. Despite his experimental drug, severe arthritis leaves her too weak to handle most guns. The Kryszka troops and zombies who break into the hospital are hungry. Very hungry. How will she fight them?


Silence. Her splints flashed white against the gloom. The footsteps started again, outside the window. Kneeling beside her mother’s bed, she shone her light toward the window. A tunic-clad woman stood outside, silhouetted against the moonlit night. The flashlight kicked too much reflection off the windows to see her face, but the intruder was too short and thin to be Laurel.

The footsteps stopped. The glass shivered. Alexis could hear so much now: the quivering window, the house creaking the way her joints did in the early morning, Robin’s soft weeping from the living room.

She gazed into the ominous night and then the window shattered inward, showering the bed and Alexis with glass slivers. A look up close and personal revealed the intruder’s fiery red eyes, needle-sharp teeth, and crooked snarl of hate. No, not hate...hunger.

“Oh, my God!” she hollered, and her cry betrayed her. Her ankle buckled when she tried to stand and run. She dropped her knife. The Kryszka grabbed her arm and flung her onto the bed.

She groped for the screwdriver and cried out at the glass slicing her right hand. Her back and neck hurt worse. The Kryszka withdrew a cylindrical device with her free hand. It looked like a plasma gun, the weapon that Steve had described. Its power would dwarf Alexis’s piece-of-shit weapon.

Hot stabbing ripped through Alexis’s spine. Something–an invisible force perhaps–rubbed her against the broken glass on the bed. This monster was dragging out the torture before killing her. Her right hand closed around her screwdriver. Despite the razor blades of agony slashing through her wrist, she pointed its tapered bit toward the Kryszka’s face. The creature was too busy drooling over her shoulder and neck to notice. Eyes rolled back and teeth gaping, the Kryszka angled for her right shoulder. Alexis sank the screwdriver into the creature’s left eye, slick as goose shit.

Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. Her short stories have appeared in numerous small press magazines. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.

Other books by Barbara include Twilight Healer and City of Brotherly Death. She’s also coauthored Alien Worlds and Starship Invasions with Tom Johnson. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons, and you’ll find her.

To contact her, e-mail her at

Visit her at:




  1. Thank you for the five things about you. It's always fun to read about an author. I enjoyed the excerpt.


  2. Thank you for hosting me today. I'm really pleased with the showcasing of my book.

    1. Thank you for sharing with us. Your book sounds like an amazing twist for zombies... and having a heroine with arthritis is certainly unique. Just the excerpts made me not want to read in the dark!

  3. And before I married, my last name was Apicella and no one believes I'm Italian. I was really looking forward to marrying and getting rid of that name--that everyone flubbed. I ended up marrying a LEE, but I did experience some angst when I adopted my married name.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  4. I enjoyed reading this, Barbara. My aunt, like me, is Italian and she has red hair and light skin too.
    I love the excerpt. It's very fast-moving and interesting.

  5. Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
    Sounds really good!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  6. I enjoyed the excerpt.


  7. I'm glad you're enjoying my excerpts. Follow my tour because down the road, I'll be sharing authentic Italian recipes.

  8. Gee, how long have I known you now, Popple, and I never knew you were Italian! Hey, I used to love to fish also, but never got the chance to do any deep sea fishing (sigh). Now I know where you get all those weird stories, it's the strange noise from the dryer that causes them (lol). Enjoyed stopping by the Blog Tour.

  9. Nice feature, nice getting to know you!


    1. You know, I don't remember commenting here, lol. Guess I already did. Well, it was nice re-reading this, loved the 5 random unknown things about you.

  10. Loving the excerpt! I feel like I'd love to read this!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  11. Thanks for the chance to win!

    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?